After a long day at work, you may notice that your eyes feel tired and that you just want to close them. This can happen at the workplace or office, but it seems to be happening more often now that more people are working from home.
When you work in an office you are more likely to attend meetings in the conference room, meet with your friends for lunch, and take more frequent breaks to run a paper here or there. All of these mini-breaks help to give your eyes the rest they need to stay focused and on top of their game throughout the day.
When you are at home, all of those things are funneled onto the computer, meaning you are staring at your screen for at least 7 hours out of the day. All of this intense staring at a screen can lead to eye strain because your eye muscles are having to stay focused on the screen.
With time, this can cause the eye muscle to become overworked and lead to longer-term issues. Learning how to help reduce eye strain while working from home can be a challenge, but over time it will become second nature and your eyes will definitely thank you.
Create a well-lit space
Many people underestimate the power of light when it comes to limiting eye strain. Too dim and you may not have enough light to read the words on the page. Too bright and you could be straining excessively, get a headache, dry eyes, or even blurry vision.
Adjusting the light to the specific scenario is very important to protect your eyes from potential harm. The screen brightness, environmental lighting, and the activity you are doing all need to be taken into consideration when choosing the best lighting.
Have you ever noticed that on your phone when you are in the darkness of night your phone brightness automatically turns down, or when you step outside in the middle of the day your phone brightness automatically turns up? This is your phone’s way of automatically trying to adjust the lighting to optimize your vision and reduce eye strain. Some computers have a similar effect but many leave it up to you to adjust the screen brightness.
You can follow the lead of your phone by reducing the lighting in the darkness and increasing the brightness in the daytime. This helps to reduce glare and prevent you from being blinded by too bright of a light at night time.
Natural lighting is some of the best lighting you can get for your workspace. Natural lighting is usually softer and less harsh on the eyes than artificial lights. Natural lighting can also help to keep you more awake and alert throughout the day to help you feel more productive.
When choosing a workspace try to choose a room with many windows that can let natural light into the room during the workday. You should not put your desk directly in front of a window as this can cause glare on your screen and can have light shining directly into your eyes.
Many people have artificial desk lighting. These desk lamps can be both functional and stylistic. When choosing a lamp you should go for something shaded and should place it in front of you if working on a monitor. When you do this the shade prevents the light from going into your eyeballs, but can still provide adequate lighting and minimal glare.
However, if you are reading papers or working on a close-up project like an art project you should adjust the light to be behind or above, pointing directly at the object.
Choosing an adjustable lamp can make it easy to adjust it to the specific task you are working on without needing multiple light sources.
While working behind a screen in the comforts of your own home, it can be difficult to set aside time for breaks. In a traditional work environment, there is typically a designated break room area that gives workers a place to decompress and take a needed break for their eyes.
While at home, that designated break area typically doesn’t exist and, in some cases, people may even be working where they would traditionally be relaxing.
Taking breaks is incredibly important for not only your eye health and reducing strain, but also from a mental health standpoint. Below is a look at some techniques you can utilize to try and help with eye strain.
The 20-20-20 rule is a concept that is laid out in an easy-to-remember layout. Essentially the rule states that for every 20 minutes of working at a screen you should give your eyes a break for 20 seconds by looking 20 feet away. This forces your eyes to focus on something at a different focal length and gives your retinas a much-needed break from the harsh light of the monitor.
While at home the 20-20-20 rule is typically much more practical as the technique is not as effective if you are in an office cubicle where the furthest wall is a couple of feet away. People also won’t look at you and think that you are daydreaming off into space as they walk by.
Get away from close-up materials
A large reason for eye strain is that your eyes are continually working to keep the focus on things that are within close proximity to you. Simply taking a break to get some water or go to the restroom every hour could be enough to allow your eyes to focus on something that isn’t so close.
The eye contains small muscles that contract the lens to view things close up. With extended periods of looking at things close by, these muscles are being worked incredibly hard. While there are eye exercises that can help them to function better, taking a break and allowing them to rest is also a good method to reduce eye strain.
Take eye supplements
Eye supplements are a great way to support your eyes from the inside out. Taking breaks and creating well-lit spaces at home can help to reduce eye strain from occurring in the first place and taking eye supplements can help to support normal visual acuity, color vision, and even optimal tear functioning.
MitoQ Eye is a specially formulated supplement with Pycnogenol®, MirtoSelect®, Lutemax 2020®, and zinc. These ingredients, along with the potent MitoQ CoQ10 formulation, can optimally support your vision to fight back against eye strain and support your vision.
Dry eyes become more common as you age, but they can also occur when you are in a dry environment. You may have noticed this if you are in a location with a lot of wind or cold, like high in the mountains.
Having dry eyes can be uncomfortable and can put you at higher risk for eye damage from particles that can get into your eyes.
If your environment is too dry you may want to consider getting a humidifier for your room. This will help to promote a moisturized environment that will promote lubricated eyes. Also, if you have any blowing fans, if it is too cold, or if there is smoke in the room, you may want to adjust these factors to continue supporting your eye health and reduce strain.
Get yearly vision checks
Eye strain is one of the biggest indications that people need vision correction. Many forms of eye strain are caused by your eyes overworking and continuously trying to bring objects into focus. Getting regular vision checks is a great way to stay on top of your eye health in addition to ensuring you have the necessary corrective lenses for your specific needs.
Getting your eyes checked is useful because it gives you time with a specially trained optometrist that can give you a prescription for lenses or contacts that can give you 20-20 vision.
If you are experiencing eye strain, an optometrist is also well equipped with the knowledge and know-how to help guide you to a solution that works for you and your specific kind of eye strain.
Limit screen time
Limiting screen time is easier said than done since your work is mostly on the computer. But, there are small things you can do each day to limit your screen time so you can have less eye strain.
Take frequent breaks, even microbreaks, suggest a phone call meeting in place of video once in a while, and more. Taking the initiative to reduce your screen time can make a big difference in reducing your feelings of eye strain.
In summary, eye strain is a very common condition that affects those that work from home and utilize a screen for extended periods throughout the day. Creating a well-lit space, taking breaks, taking eye supplements, checking the humidity, getting routine eye exams, and limiting screen time are all ways that you can support your eyes and reduce the likelihood of eye strain.